What is a Self Managed Super Fund (SMSF)?
A Self Managed Super Fund (SMSF) is a form of superannuation fund that is controlled by the members, giving greater control over their retirement savings than other types of superannuation funds such as industry or retail super funds. This includes wider investment choice and greater control over investments and flexibility in the payment of retirement benefits, such as pensions and annuities, directly from the fund. SMSFs must be established for the sole purpose of providing benefits to fund members on retirement, or, if the member dies before retirement, a benefit to that member’s dependants. This is referred to as the Sole Purpose Test.
Why establish an SMSF?
Some advantages of an SMSF include:
- being able to invest, so that income and capital gains are taxed at the lower superannuation tax rates. These rates can be as low as 0 percent and no higher than 15 percent
- being able to invest in a wide range of assets, including direct property, which are not normally available in traditional super funds
- being able to coordinate your superannuation investment strategy with your non-superannuation assets and business
- being able to structure income streams or pensions in a very tailored way, that suits you and your family
- being able to structure your estate planning to ensure certainty about what happens to your assets when you pass away. An SMSF offers many advantages for estate planning over other ownership structures and over traditional super funds
- being in control of all key decisions, including investment decisions, but still having the ability to take advice from specialists. You will need specialist accounting, taxation, investment, estate planning and strategic advice for your fund
- being able to transfer personally owned shares and some property into the fund
- being able to use an SMSF to buy business premises for use in your business.
Benefits of SMSFs
Self managed super funds have many advantages over other types of super. Depending on your situation, these advantages can include:
- being able to have more control over your investments
- being able to make greater investment choice
- providing flexibility to implement tax planning strategies
- being able to have the ability to transfer personal assets into your SMSF
- being able to pool family assets to lower overall fees and to implement financial strategies involving the transfer of benefits between family members.
About Super Funds
Of the $1.23 trillion invested in super at 30 June 2010, $390.8 billion was in self managed super funds (SMSFs). That's 31.8 percent of all superannuation funds, with SMSFs now representing the largest slice of the super industry.
For many Australians, SMSFs offer 4 major advantages:
- more control over investments
- greater investment flexibility
- generally lower fees than industry and retail funds
- on average, better performance than industry and retail funds
Private Business Owner focus
As the leading advisors to Private Business Owners, Kelly+Partners is uniquely positioned to help dealer owners get their businesses and their personal wealth organised in a coordinated fashion. This owner-focused service model means that the business is viewed as the means to building wealth for the owner and not an end in itself. The advantages of this include:
- asset protection
- tax management
- retirement planning
- wealth management.